Is gaming the new lipstick?
💄The lipstick effect is a theory that in times of crisis or recession, sales of small luxury goods esp. lipstick, rise.
I think in 2023 we will change lipstick for games. 👇 Here is why
In the 2023 recession, the small luxury for many people will be games, not perfumes or lipstick.
Below are 2 theories on why the lipstick effect works and my POV on why games fit.
In bad times we want to treat ourselves with something small, yet luxurious that will last us a while.
🎮How games fit:
Games are not cheap. They last a long time. Playing the newest games not waiting for a sale means being on top of the current trends and just feels good.
The popular reasons to play are that video games bring joy (93%), provide mental stimulation (91%) and stress relief (89%) — that’s the feel-good luxury.
According to prof. Juliet Shore lipstick effect is about:
“The thrill of buying in an expensive store, indulging in a fantasy of beauty and sexiness, buying ‘hope in a bottle.”
By some even expanded to preparing yourself to find a more well-off economic partner.
🎮How games fit:
In this case, it’s mostly about in-game items and DLCs.
>Fantasy of beauty? ✔
Just ask my cat-girl FFIV character.
>Expensive department store?
🦑You can buy a squid cap for $80 on Roblox.
>”Hope in a bottle?”
🦸♂️You are the hero here, that’s the premise of games.
>Showing off to other people and making new relationships?
✨That’s the reason 50% of players play MMO.
Gaming just fits.
📈 And bonus case in point: the games market already boomed 26% up during the last crisis (COVID in 2020–2021).
Of course, games won’t “be the lipstick” for everyone.
But with remote work and travel prices raising I think that at-home gaming entertainment will become a more popular small luxury in 2023, especially for those who already play.
I definitely lowered my spontaneous spending but bought a game (Cult of The Lamb) as a “treat myself” thing recently.
💄And what is your lipstick?
PS. This post was inspired by Georgia Stevenson’s 2023 prediction made in the excellent Rex Woodbury’s newsletter. Definitely give both of them a follow!
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